Distributed exclusively by The Daily Wire and available only to Daily Wire subscribers (of which you should be one), Run Hide Fight is the company’s first entry into pop culture. Movie production and distribution is one part of The Daily Wire‘s broad, long term plan to fight back with “conservative” competition against the leftist culture that dominates movies, television, news, and more.
Knowing this background, Run Hide Fight is absolutely not what you likely expect.
This isn’t a preachy conservative movie. There are no openly stated “lessons” or themes that make most films with a conservative bent feel a lot like attending Sunday school. If you weren’t familiar with The Daily Wire you’d never guess, after watching it, that Run Hide Fight is considered “conservative.”
In fact, if it weren’t for the pervasive leftist messaging in most pop culture that we encounter and consume, Run Hide Fight wouldn’t even stand out as having a political bent at all. Simply by its not being openly anti-gun and explicitly woke, and the lack of a heavy-handed political message, Run Hide Fight somehow becomes a “conservative” movie while doing nothing more than playing it straight.
Take, for instance, the movie’s opening scene which shows 17-year-old Zoe Hull (Isabel May) and her dad, Todd (Thomas Jane), deer hunting early in the morning before Zoe’s school day. Todd coaches his daughter through the shot and a nice buck is taken.
There is zero glorification of firearms or hunting. In fact, the scene is tough and the deer doesn’t die easy. Run Hide Fight simply shows a father and child hunting for an animal that will fill their freezer . . . a scene that plays out across the U.S. tens of thousands of times every year.
But it’s a scene that Hollywood would never put in a movie these days. Responsible firearm use by a 17-year-old? Hunting for meat by people who could purchase it in a grocery store instead? Nothing more than depicting this in straight fashion, without commentary or messaging, makes Run Hide Fight “conservative” in 2021.
Less “conservative” is taking a huge risk on subject matter. I tell you what, making an action movie about a school shooting takes chutzpah.
It all begins when a cadre of school shooters bent on fame and achieving the “best” school shooting ever drive their van into the cafeteria of their high school. One of the baddies is armed with an MP 40 submachine gun, origins of which are not explained.
Mentally checked out at the end of her senior year and dealing with some other demons, Zoe suddenly finds herself in a life-or-death situation. And she makes a conscious choice to not just survive, but to fight back.
After gaining control, the shooters force their student captives to pull out their phones and fire up whatever app they use for live streaming. They issue a deadly warning to the big tech companies not to cut their stream, and begin playing out the situation for fame and glory.
Later in the movie, the shooters even gain a strategic advantage by simply watching the live news feeds of their own school shooting incident that are, as you’d expect, effectively the only thing on television. While Run Hide Fight absolutely does not preach the issue and the message behind this plot point is entirely up to the viewer to interpret on his or her own, it’s a potent demonstration of the media’s role (culpability?) in these events.
Taking this theme a step further, another scene shows the sheriff struggling to convince news crews not to show the school in the background of their shots — even just temporarily — so as to hide information from the shooters. The pushback and horse trading that’s depicted is incredibly frustrating.
Another media-related message in Run Hide Fight is far easier to miss, and is made by way of demonstration. While Zoe and other protagonist characters are well-developed, the movie leaves the shooters fairly flat. It refuses to give them meaningful backstories or in any way lend credence to their possible motivations for committing such a horrible act of cowardice. The school shooters are portrayed as little more than clichés, and this isn’t an accident.
Unlike the news media, which plasters a shooter’s name, life story, sexiest photos, and grievances all over the airwaves, Run Hide Fight does the opposite both very subtly by leaving the shooters’ characters undeveloped and more overtly through Zoe’s verbal pantsing of one of them. Incidentally, The Daily Wire was one of the first major news outlets to publicly make it clear that they will never publish the names of mass shooters or in any other way potentially glorify them.
If there’s another “political” theme of the movie, it’s the depiction of realistic school and police procedures and policies around live school shooter incidents, as well as just how much can happen prior to any sort of a police response even being mounted. Time and lives are lost as bureaucracy does what bureaucracy does.
Worse, the school’s policies are a matter of public knowledge, which the shooters use to their benefit. When the entire school lockdown and shooter response playbook is voted on and debated publicly, well, it’s public. This may not be particularly wise, and Run Hide Fight demonstrates why.
In both its portrayal of the media — including how school shooters and the media play to each other’s mutual benefit — and school and police procedure, Run Hide Fight delivers a message that’s cleanly built into the plot line. Again, it is not overtly political and these messages are never explicitly stated in the movie, but they’re a realistic and integral part of the plot, delivered in a matter-of-fact manner, that enhances the viewer’s experience and ups the tension and frustration as the movie plays out.
Zoe is the hero of Run Hide Fight, and actress Isabel May was awesome in this role. She’s pissed off, she’s tough, and she really sells it. The character is great and May’s portrayal is dead-on.
In fact, across the board the acting and cinematography of Run Hide Fight are absolutely top notch. This is not a B movie, but a full-on Hollywood-level production in every way.
Well, perhaps it’s more realistic without any over-the-top special effects or characters doing anything outside the realm of the plausible. Zoe is tough and determined, but she’s still a high school girl and her capabilities reflect this.
While Hollywood might stumble into creating a virtual superhero movie out of Run Hide Fight, writer/director Kyle Rankin has kept it real. It’s as much of a thriller as it is an action flick, if not more so.
From a TTAG reader perspective, firearm use was almost entirely realistic (save one incident where, if I recall correctly, three shots were fired from a side-by-side shotgun without a period during which the shooter could have plausibly reloaded…and there’s the unlikely nature of a full-auto MP 40 somehow making it into one of the shooter’s hands). The action is gritty and real.
Run Hide Fight is emotional and difficult to watch. The subject matter — a Columbine-style school shooting — is obviously sensitive, yet this movie pulls no punches. It’s a fantastic action thriller, but it’s also touching at moments and emotionally taxing throughout.
The film does precisely what art should; it makes you feel, it makes you think, and it gets you invested in the characters and the plot.
At one point Zoe is armed and, as you’d expect in reality, the teachers and students she’s helping to escape have no issue with this. It’s not a conservative message, it simply isn’t a left-leaning one.
Were Hollywood tackling a film like this, experienced viewers know darn well the story would beat us over the head with an anti-gun message. Run Hide Fight doesn’t do that, of course, but it may surprise some that it plays the story down the middle. It’s simply real.
Again, this is not a political movie, as some might expect from its producers, and the movie does not push a message. If that’s what you were looking or hoping for — a movie that drives home conservative messages, values, and moralities — this isn’t it.
Run Hide Fight is a gripping Hollywood-quality action thriller movie that fearlessly tackles an emotional and sensitive subject without bias or politics screwing it up. If it weren’t for The Daily Wire putting its name on this film, you’d never hear even the word “conservative” associated with it.
Of course, if it weren’t for The Daily Wire’s association, Run Hide Fight would have probably remained an unknown indie film that almost no one saw or heard of. As demonstrated by its Rotten Tomatoes ratings above — and this is the same story on every other outlet that has both a professional movie critic rating and an audience rating (13% critic rating vs 9.5/10 viewer rating on Metacritic, a 4.8/5 viewer rating on Google with 97% of viewers liking it, etc) — establishment Hollywood hates this movie’s guts.
For a lot of us, that alone is enough of a reason to see it.
There’s virtually no way Run Hide Fight would have been picked up by a mainstream movie studio or found distribution without the inclusion of the mandatory leftist themes including, naturally, overt anti-gun messaging. And nothing more than pure politics is what leads to some of the biggest divergences between critics’ scores and audience ratings I have ever seen. Shocking, really, for a movie that very much avoids putting an idealogical thumb on the scale.
Run Hide Fight is a fantastic movie, but be warned: it’s visually and emotionally intense. Subscribe to The Daily Wire to watch it. (Daily Wire has AppleTV and Roku apps, which makes streaming the movie on your smart TV exceedingly easy.)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall * * * * *
Run Hide Fight delivers on every aspect of what a great movie should be. Not only are the acting, cinematography, and plot all rock solid, but it creates an intensely emotional, engaging ride for the viewer and makes one think. It’s good art, and it does it all without a leftist agenda.
FYI if you do choose to subscribe to The Daily Wire so you can stream all of their great political talk shows / podcasts and support the new content categories they’re diving into this year (movies, live audience shows including one with Candace Owens, investigative journalism, etc.), at the time of this writing they’re offering 25% off any of their subscription tiers with coupon code “RHF” (as in, Run Hide Fight). To be clear, this is not a sponsored post and The Daily Wire has no idea TTAG is publishing this movie review, nor is there any sort of financial connection or incentive for TTAG whatsoever here. I just happen to really like their programming (after listening for a couple years I finally subscribed last February) and was shocked by how good this movie was. Give ’em a look.